As we’ve written elsewhere, there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to packing for your Kilimanjaro trek. The list of considerations is often different and longer for women than it is for men, so we thought we’d help out by digging around the internet for a few useful tips and tricks from women who have been there, done that.
Here are a few pointers that came up:
1. Feminine wipes: You won’t have any opportunities for a proper wash on the mountain. Hot water is usually provided for washing your face and hands, but feminine wipes are useful for everything else.
2. Panty liners: As blogger Ali Biggs puts it: “We should all strive to leave a small ‘footprint’ on the mountain and not contribute to the existing trash problem. Toilet paper is the eyesore of the trek, as hikers seem to use it with abandon and then… abandon it; sometimes even on the actual trail. While there are times that you absolutely must use (and leave) toilet paper, panty liners can help to minimize the need for toilet paper in most scenarios.
You will be peeing a lot, due to your water intake, and instead of using (and leaving) TP, drip-dry as best you can and then a panty liner will help with the rest. You can replace the liner once you’re done hiking for the day, and you will dispose of one liner in the shared chemical toilet versus 5+ little piles of TP along the trail.
3. Dry shampoo: it will be rather tricky to give your hair a proper wash during your trek, given that you’ll get just a small bowl of hot water to wash your hands and face in every day. So if you’ve got long hair, dry shampoo will help you get through your trek without your hair suffering too much.
4. Extra tampons, pads and panties: Even if you’re not due to have your period during your Kili climb, the altitude can mess with your hormones and induce it. Better safe than sorry.
5. A ‘she-wee’: As Madame Ovary says succinctly, this is your “best bet” for dignified and swift bathroom breaks since there’s “less mess, and lesser time will be taken for bathroom stops.” However, she goes on to say that by the “end of the trip however, nobody else around you will care, because they’ll be in the same boat as you.”
6. Thongs: Madame Ovary also says that many women swear by thongs rather than normal panties. “With all of the movement and layers of clothing, you will keep getting massive wedgies, and thongs are more comfortable.”
If you have any other tips that you think are particularly important for women, please feel free to contact us and we will add them to the list.
Please note that with Kilimanjaro-Experience women will always share a tent with other women, or if they are the only female climber in a group they will have their own tent.